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News for May 20, 2000

Giro d'Italia news

Di Luca hungry

Although he won the stage into Peschici yesterday, Cantina Tollo's Danilo Di Luca wanted more. He has his eyes on the Maglia Rosa, which he wants to wear at least once before Sunday's critical mountain stage to Prato. He tried an attack when he saw Tossatto was in difficulty yesterday, but no-one else would work. He still has a 31 second gap to Tossatto after today, and has just one more chance to wear the pink before crunch time on Sunday.

Tossatto is far happier, as he possesses the pink, blue and purple jerseys of the overall leader, the integiro and the points competitions. He said that he aims to hold onto one of them into Milan as well as winning a stage.

Pantani annoyed

After he was involved in a fall yesterday, Marco Pantani managed to recapture the group and did not lose any time, although it hurt. However, he was somewhat annoyed at his former teammate, Roberto Conti (Vini Caldirola), who was up the front driving the pace while the Pirate was down. Words were said, pertaining to greater degree of sportsmanship. For his part, Conti claimed he didn't know that Pantani had fallen and was just doing his job for his team leader Fransesco Casagrande.

Gotti: still not 100%

Last year's winner, Ivan Gotti (Polti) claims that he has still not found his rhythm in this year's Giro, although he is improving. In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Gotti said that he was at "70% of my condition. Each day I improve, but I was better in 1997. A better state of mind - I had more enthusiasm. To win the Giro was like touching the heavens. Now, I am not quite as keen."

"My main rivals are Tonkov, Casagrande, Savoldelli and Pantani," he added. However, the race may bring a surprise or two. Gotti was tremendously impressed with his audience with the Pope on Friday before the prologue, saying that it was "the most beautiful moment. An unforgettable experience."

His whole family is quite devout including his father Giovanni and mother Alma, and Ivan himself is starting to believe that he can win.

Linda McCartney on Tour

The British based Linda McCartney cycling team has had a 'mixed' Giro d'Italia, to say the least. With two riders pulling out after the prologue (Brooks and Richard) , Matt Stephens crashing, and two more (Vestol and Power) suffering from stomach problems it's been hard work for the vegetarian food sponsored team. They have managed several top 10 stage placings in spite of this, and had Max Sciandri in the final break in today's stage.

Of course, as pointed out by Gabriella Ekström in her stage 1 report, every joke under the sun has been made about the guys' food (please let it be). As you can see below, it's not that different from a normal pro-diet.

Breakfast:

Cereals with milk, and sometimes soya protein milk or powder added
Omelette
Linda McCartney "Rashers"
Linda McCartney "Bangers"
Croissants and bread with jam and cheese
Natural yogurt
Fruit juices and spring water
Tea or coffee

Race:

Up to 4 bottles of Extran, lemon or orange flavour
Up to 8 bottles of water
Baguette with soft low-fat cheese, tomato and hard-boiled egg
Extran energy bars
Cakes and sweets
Coke or similar
Concentrated Extran cartons, peach flavour

Post Race:

Baguette
Extran
Tea
Coke

Dinner:

Choose from a selection of:
Salad with poached or hard-boiled eggs and crudites
Omelette with cheese, mushrooms and potatoes
Chilli "non" carne made with Linda McCartney mince
Pasta al dente with neapolitan or arrabiata sauce
Risotto with ricotta
Fresh vegetable platter: spinach, carrots, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, etc
Coffee

Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke accused

After his house was searched on Wednesday in Moeskroen, former Lotto director, Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke, has been accused by police of several malpractices. Police found documents that showed Vandenbroucke didn't write everything down in his books, and have even accused him of organised doping within the team.

After his house was searched on Wednesday Vandenbroucke came back from the Midi Libre. He and his wife Carine Adams were questioned by the police yesterday.

Judge Christian Buisseret in Doornik is interested in the book keeping of VDB-Promotions, the management company owned by Vandenbroucke who ran the Lotto team. They are most likely looking for financial inconsistencies, and it isn't clear yet whether this investigation has something to do with the Abdoujaparov affair. A press conference was cancelled yesterday, but the press expect some more news later today.

Mercury adds Manheim

By John Alsedek, cyclingnews.com correspondent

In an announcement made today, the Mercury Cycling Team has added Manheim Auctions as a major co-sponsor for their team in a multi-year deal. Under the agreement, the squad will be known as the Manheim Auctions Cycling Team in events outside of North America, starting in June. With locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, France, the United Kingdom, and Australia, Manheim Auctions has been one of the world's top wholesale automobile auction companies for over half a century, and is a growing concern that team director feels is a "good fit" for his up-and-coming squad.

The announcement comes at an opportune time: with the team's success in both the United States and abroad this season, the Mercury/Manheim Auctions Cycling Team has earned consideration as a possible wild card entry to the 2000 Tour de France. It's expected though that a French team will receive at least one of the three wild card berths, and Kelme another. Wordin's long-term plans didn't include a Tour ride until at least 2001, but he's still hopeful that their results of the past two seasons - including third overall in the Tour de l'Avenir and a stage win in the Criterium International, both of which are run by the Societè du Tour de France - will accelerate the schedule: "After all, how can you turn down a chance to ride the Tour?"

The Manheim Auctions Cycling Team will make its European debut in the Tour of Luxembourg, June 8-11.

Swiss 'cross on the increase

Swiss cyclocross is recuperating from last winter when a negative record of only twelve events were held. Next season's provisional calendar contains 17 races. With events in Sitten and Aigle, the Romandie is once again back in cyclo cross. The season begins in Wil on October 15 and ends in Wetzikon, January 28. The national championships will be held in Hittnay, January 14. A major set back though: There will be no World Cup race in Switzerland.